Caulk and Painting

When you take a piece of previously-stained furniture or cabinetry and paint it, caulk is super useful.

For instance, this little railing above my kitchen cabinets had a groove in it that was nigh onto impossible to paint. So, I caulked it, and then painted over the caulk (you can see the un-caulked area on the left.)

caulk on white cabinets

That was so much easier than trying to shove paint in there. I also needed to use caulk where the bottom piece of the fence part meets the cabinet frames…it didn’t fit evenly and that was evident once I painted. A little caulk took care of it very nicely, though.

This picture doesn’t show it very well, but the place where the cabinet frames and trim met got wider and wider toward the right.


Oh, and all those little spindles? I tried painting them with a regular paint brush, but that was super difficult. They’re just so very tiny. Fortunately, trying a little watercolor paintbrush occurred to me, and that did the trick very nicely.

My cabinet doors have all needed caulk too. When they were stained, the places where the panels didn’t fit quite flush worked out all right. But once white paint goes on, all those areas are super visible.

Like here:

cabinet doors before caulk

Much better after some caulk.

dap caulk for cabinets

My favorite caulk is Dap latex. We’ve tried some cheaper caulks in the past when we’ve done other projects, and it really is worth it to pay a little bit more for the Dap. The kind I’m using here dries in 15 minutes, so you can caulk and then put a coat of paint over the caulk in short order.

(And you do not want to skip painting over caulk. Unpainted caulk might look good at first, but it will darken in color over time and will be very hard to keep clean.)

The weather has been pretty perfect for painting this last week or so, and I think in a day or two, I will be very nearly done with this project.

And then we can have some fun after pictures. Yay!


    • Kristen says

      Yes. Unless you pay someone else. In that case, boy, does it go fast. If I had tons of money, I think I’d opt for that more often!

      But in this case, the cost of having someone else paint the cabinets was very high, and I do know how to paint, so it made sense to DIY.

      • says

        Eh, it can still take forever when you pay someone else, too. I had some bookshelves built in 2 years ago, trying to make it all happen before my baby arrived and, needless to say, the workmen were drilling and hammering while I was home with my newborn.

  1. Battra92 says

    Looking good! Do you think by having your kitchen in pieces that you’ve learned anything about how you like your kitchen or perhaps in ways it could be improved (e.g. changing the organization of it, installing some upgrades etc.)

    • Kristen says

      Hmm, that’s a good question. I haven’t really thought too hard about it, because I’ve been so focused on painting. We do plan to eventually update the countertops and backsplash, and with that will come a new sink, but all of that had already occurred to us before I started painting.

  2. Diane C says

    Oh, as much as you cook, a bigger sink would really make a difference. After doing all this work yourself, methinks you will have earned it in spades!

  3. Joyce says

    I cannot believe all the people I have run into lately (in person and online) that are doing this same project! And so, since in a few weeks my husband and I will be empty nesters (until the youngest returns from college), we have decided to do it too! I must admit you make it look easier than it probably is. Wish us luck!

  4. says

    I am so enjoying following your progress. Your cabinets are turning out great! Almost makes me ready to take mine down and repaint them…..almost… LOL

  5. says

    Your cabinets are looking so good! I have some really old cabinets that are well built, so it doesn’t make sense to replace them, but boy could they use some paint. I’ve been really hesitant to do them myself, but after keeping up with your blog posts I think I might plan to tackle this myself down the road. :)

    • Kristen says

      I think you might be thinking of chalk paint. I haven’t used that before, but I know an awful lot of people swear by it!

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